Although, I've made Spanish Chicken many times over the past several years, I'm just getting around to sharing it with you now. You see, this dish isn't really a recipe, it's more of a throw-it-together sort of meal.
When I threw it together on Saturday, I wrote down the ingredients and measurements as I went along. I'm a little fuzzy on the cooking times, so you'll have to use your judgement on that.
- 4 lbs. bone-in split chicken breast, most of the skin removed
- 2 qts. water
- 3 c. ketchup
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1-2 onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Place chicken in a large pot, top with sliced vegetables and seasonings.
- In a seperate bowl (I usually use a clear bowl or measuring cup), mix together the ketchup and water.
- Pour ketchup/water mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
- Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- After 10 minutes, reduce heat to low and cover.
- Allow to simmer until chicken starts to pull away from the bone easily. (about an hour?)
- With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove chicken from the pot and put into a bowl.
- Once it's cool enough to handle, start removing the meat from the bones in large chunks.
- When finished, shred slightly. Not too much, they'll still break down while cooking further.
- This is a good time to taste the sauce and adjust to your liking.
- Add chicken back to the sauce and continue to simmer, covered for another couple of hours.
- Serve over rice, noodles or potatoes.
- Mom usually made Spanish Chicken using legs and thighs. We prefer the chicken breasts.
- Don't be tempted to use boneless chicken breasts. You need the flavor from those bones to mix with the ketchup and water. Trust me! A few years ago, Joe kept insisting that this would be so much easier (and better) using boneless chicken. I kept telling him no, but gave in and made it without the bones. It was good, but he did admit that it's much better with the bone-in chicken.
- You could certainly skip picking the chicken from the bones, if you like. But I prefer to remove the bones, since as it cooks further, the chicken starts to fall apart making it more difficult to fish the bones out!
- Don't forget to taste the sauce before you add the cooked chicken back to the pot. And adjust the seasoning as needed. I originally started with 2 cups of ketchup but after tasting it, I realized it needed a bit more.
- I usually add a bay leaf and some sun-dried tomatoes to the pot, but we were all out of both this time.
- This is a good clean out the fridge recipe. In the past, I've added half a can of diced tomatoes that were left from another recipe. Or a couple tablespoons of tomato paste that was left in the fridge. Add what you like.
- Mom always served this with potatoes. Either mashed or buttered. That's the way I like it. Joe prefers this with rice. So, I usually make both. I was short on time so I only made rice this time. We're having the leftovers tonight, so I'll be making it with potatoes. :)